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EUROPASS – Serving citizen mobility

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EUROPASS – Serving citizen mobility

Europass is a portfolio of five standardized documents and an electronic folder, enabling citizens to present their skills and qualifications clearly and easily anywhere in Europe. Its aim is to facilitate mobility for all those wishing to work or receive training anywhere in Europe.

ACT

Decision No 2241/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2004 on a single Community framework for the transparency of qualifications and competences (Europass).

SUMMARY

Established in 2005, Europass is a portfolio of five different documents and an electronic folder aiming to contain descriptions of the entire holder’s learning achievements, official qualifications, work experience, skills and competences, acquired over time. All documents share a common brand name (Europass) and logo. Europass is available, free of charge and in 28 languages, in an accessible electronic format on the Europass portal. Since 2012, individuals have been able to assemble all Europass documents in the European Skills Passport, a user-friendly electronic folder that helps the holder to build up a personal, modular inventory of personal skills and qualifications acquired throughout their lives.

The Europass elements are:

Europass – Curriculum vitae (Europass-CV)

A template for the description of the holder’s curriculum vitae. It is the central element of the portfolio, designed to illustrate the holder's skills.

Europass – Mobility

Using a common European format, the Europass – Mobility records all periods of transnational mobility for learning purposes, at whatever level: company placement, semester studying at a university or any other training experience.

Europass – Diploma supplement

The diploma supplement contains information on the holder’s higher education pathway. It describes the nature, level, context, content and status of any courses successfully completed. However, it does not replace the original diploma. Developed jointly with the Council of Europe and UNESCO, it is completed by the issuing body and presented at the same time as the diploma.

The diploma supplement comprises eight parts providing information on the holder, the diploma, the level of the qualification, the content and results obtained, the function of the qualification, the certification of the supplement and the national higher education system.

Europass – Certificate supplement

The certificate supplement describes the vocational qualifications of any person holding the vocational training or education certificate to which it refers. To this end, it provides, inter alia, information on the skills acquired, the range of vocational activities available, the certifying bodies, the level of the certificate, the entry qualifications required and opportunities for gaining access to the next level of training. It does not replace the original certificate or constitute an automatic recognition system. It is issued by the competent national authorities.

Europass – Language portfolio

The language portfolio enables citizens to present their linguistic and cultural skills. It contains the Europass Language Passport, which provides specific information on the holder’s language abilities, in accordance with Europe-wide standards, and his or her experience in each language, as well as a file of personal work to illustrate the level reached.

European Skills Passport

The European Skills Passport is an electronic folder enabling people to improve the presentation of their CVs by bringing together their educational and training certificates in one place, providing evidence for the qualifications and skills declared in the CV. It is available for free in 28 languages on the Europass portal where an on-line editor helps users to create their individual passports. It complements the Europass CV.

The Europass initiative is supported by an Internet portal administered at Community level. This site allows citizens to draw up their own Europass CVs and language passports, and to find out about the other Europass documents.

Europass is implemented by a network of National Europass Centres (NECs). They are responsible at national level for Europass coordination and promotion. The NECs are supported by European and national co-funding.

The Commission presents an evaluation report on the implementation of the Directive to the European Parliament every four years.

For descriptions of the standard Europass documents, please consult the Annex to the Decision.

The Decision highlights the importance of consistency and complementarity with the other instruments that promote European and international mobility, in particular:

  • the European Employment Network (EURES)
  • the European network of national information centres on recognition and university mobility (ENIC-NARIC) established by the Council of Europe and Unesco.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision (EC) No 2241/2004

1.1.2005

-

OJ L 390 of 21.12.2004

RELATED ACTS

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 4 July 2008 on the first evaluation of the Europass initiative [ COM(2008) 427 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This Report presents the main conclusions and recommendations of the first external evaluation of the Europass initiative, as well as the Commission’s conclusions for follow-up. The evaluation finds the initiative to be an effective mobility tool, providing citizens the relevant means to attest their qualifications and competences in a clear manner within the learning contexts and in the labour market. The network of NECs and the Internet portal, which are appreciated by stakeholders and users, are considered to be cost-effective implementation tools. Nevertheless, the evaluation deems that the initiative could be exploited further. In order to improve the relevance and effectiveness of the initiative, the evaluation recommends that:

  • occupational mobility be better addressed through improved implementation tools;
  • specific indicators be used to improve the NECs’ activity reports;
  • communication of the initiative to learners and employers be increased;
  • the CV tool, and in particular the template and guidance tools, be further developed;
  • the Diploma and Certificate Supplements be better incorporated into the framework;
  • cooperation with employment and guidance services be deepened to increase the impact of the initiative among the low-qualified and unemployed.

In response to the evaluation, the Commission intends to:

  • cooperate further with relevant institutions to promote the initiative among the low-qualified and unemployed;
  • provide a developed version of the Europass CV and an appropriate self-assessment service;
  • further promote the use of Europass Mobility in national and regional mobility actions;
  • incorporate the issuing of the Europass Mobility into the Lifelong Learning Programme;
  • ascertain better coordination of the management of the Europass Diploma and Certificate Supplements;
  • further develop the Europass Diploma, so that it takes better into account its holders' learning outcomes;
  • link the Europass initiative into the implementation of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: Evaluation of the Europass initiative: second evaluation of the Decision of the European Parliament and the Council on a single Community framework for the transparency of qualifications and competences (Europass) [COM(2013) 899 final of 18.12.2013 - not published in the Official Journal]

This report looks at the achievements of the Europass framework following an external evaluation carried out in 2012. It stresses that the original objectives remain relevant, in particular to the Education and Training 2020 Strategic Framework for European cooperation (ET 2020) and that Europass has proven effective allowing skills, qualifications and learning outcomes to be compared. Europass, and in particular the Europass CV, is a well-recognised, well-trusted brand for transparency and recognition.

However, the report also points to some shortcoming of Europass in dealing with changing educational, training and labour market conditions. It states that some of its tools do not promote flexible learning pathways. Nor do they allow for the comprehensive recording of skills acquired through non-formal or informal learning, including through on-line learning.

Evaluation data also show that most Europass tools still do not fully reach large groups of potential users. At present, Europass users tend to be young, female and highly educated. It recommends better coordination with career guidance services and their integration within the Europass framework to enable large groups to be targeted - such as low-skilled unemployed people, who may lack the necessary skills to complete the Europass documents or who may find them too complex or confusing. Other necessary improvements include enhanced convergence with other European reference tools and better interoperability of Europass IT tools with EU tools used for job matching.

The report considers that the current Europass structure should be revamped into a simpler, more target-oriented and up-to-date service, whilst maintaining its original aim of comparability and transparency of skills and qualifications to improve the geographical and occupational mobility of learners and workers.

Last updated: 07.04.2014

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